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Comment Re:Say what? (Score 4, Informative) 391

tailpipe emissions in the US are really quite low now - no one is dying because of this cheating.

Nobody is dying immediately, but it would be naive to think there is not an indirect effect.

According to Martin Williams, professor of air quality research at King’s College London, diesel cars account for roughly 5,800 premature deaths a year in the UK alone. Other experts put the figure even higher.

Comment But they will politely knock! (Score 1) 142

Law enforcement officials have rejected the “backdoor” terminology. “We aren’t seeking a backdoor approach. We want to use the front door, with clarity and transparency, and with clear guidance provided by law,” FBI chief James B. Comey said at the Brookings Institution in October.

There is no front door.

Man these people are dumb.

Comment Re:Wrong problem (Score 1) 381

This is an interesting tangent that has come up while discussing potential backdoors in Chinese or American manufactured hardware. If you are a business with trade secrets or intellectual property or confidential financial info or such, then absolutely your first concern should be protecting yourself from the KGB/Chinese government surveillance.

However, if you are an individual, you should be much more concerned with surveillance by your own government. If the Chinese know who you associate with, track your movements, read your emails, listen to your phone calls, what is the big deal? There is not really much they can do with that information, nor do they have much reason to care about the average Western citizen.

Your own government, however, can use that information against you in untold number of ways. For your own government, all that information they collect is potentially actionable. For the Chinese, not so much. The opposite is of course also true. The US government has little benefit to be gained from spying on the typical Chinese factory worker. The Chinese government OTOH, well, you know.....

Fact is your own government is a far bigger threat to your rights and freedoms than terrorists/communists/otherists will ever be.

Comment At least it will save people money (Score 1) 82

I do understand there are principles at stake when payment processors are dictated to over who they can do business with (like Wikileaks), but there is at least an upside in this case. Nobody need pay for pirated content, it is all out there available for free. Forcing people to learn that will be a valuable lesson that will save them money in the end.

Comment Charitable foundation (Score 1) 842

If I were uber rich that would be my goal. More than all the houses, the planes and exotic cars, the sports franchises, having a foundation with the means to do lasting good on a globally significant scale and leaving a legacy rather than just an estate would be so fulfilling. Well it would for me anyway.

Not a big Microsoft fan, but I absolutely admire Gates for his foundation's work. Given it was MS that bought Minecraft I'm sure Bill could give him some pointers.

Comment Re:Slashdot Paradox (Score 1) 417

I've liked science ever since I was a kid. All kinds of science. I particularly like science that makes consistent, accurate, granular predictions.

Compared to pretty much any other scientific discipline, climate science leaves me completely underwhelmed. It is pretty clear they have only the vaguest idea of how it all works.

Would I bet money on their predictions? No. If they were my investment advisers I would fire them.

Comment Re: It's election time in Canada... (Score 1) 258

There will be a Supreme Court challenge. And Harper will almost certainly lose. He is, after all, the losing-est PM in the courts that we have had in recent memory, if not ever.

I'm profoundly grateful for our courts and our Charter of Rights, which have done an excellent job of keeping Harper from turning this country into the sort of shithole he would like it to be.

Comment Re:not practical (Score 1) 466

Am I dumping my refrigerator and cooking food on a camping stove? No.

Sums it up well. I know people who wear a sweater in the house in the winter to use less heat, or leave the AC off on hot days. These are not people eating cat food, they can actually afford to make their place comfortable for themselves. HVAC is one of the wonderful things about living in the first world and billions would love to have it.

Some people just seem to need some sort of cilice I guess.

Every nonzero finite dimensional inner product space has an orthonormal basis. It makes sense, when you don't think about it.